Wizards: Tales Of Arcadia – Netflix Season 1 Review

 

Season 1

Episode Guide

Spellbound
History in the Making
Witch Hunt
Lady of the Lake
Battle Royal
Killahead Part One
Killahead Part Two
Wizard Underground
Dragon’s Den
Our Final Act

 

 

After 88 episodes of epic fantastical adventures, it all comes down to this. The Tales Of Arcadia trilogy comes to a suitably epic conclusion with 10 breathless episodes of action, adventure and time-bending fun. In a bid to wrap everything up in a satisfying way, the first half of the series feels incredibly fast paced, almost to a fault. While this does settle down a bit for the second-half, it’s hard not to think this could easily have been given another 5 or 6 episodes to space things out a bit.

Although you can jump into this without having watched Trollhunters or 3Below, it’s strongly recommended you watch them both before jumping into this. There’s events referenced here that have a lot more gravitas after watching those shows and plenty of characters and incidents cross over between the shows. 

In its simplest form, Wizards acts as both a stand-alone spin-off and also as a conclusion to this trilogy. The result is something that blends both the overarching narrative of the entire show and a stand-alone, time-bending adventure set during Camelot times together.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen King Arthur and his Knights arrive this year, with Netflix’s teen drama Cursed a disappointingly average offering at best. Thankfully Wizards is far from average.

In the final quest to round out this trilogy, the story pulls together our eclectic group of characters that we’ve followed over the years and the different Arcadia realms. Jim, Claire, Toby, Steve and Douxie form our dysfunctional team across the season, who tumble head-first into the thick of action. That action comes in the form of the Camelot era, with both Arthur and Morgana playing pivotal roles in what happens with the story.

I won’t spoil anything here but suffice to say the back-half of this season really pulls out all the stops and raises the stakes for all involved. However, it also makes a pretty big decision with Jim’s character going forward which definitely brings some real poignancy to the journey. Aside from that, the series rounds things out nicely with an open ending that paves the way for next year’s feature film.

Most of the characters have pretty good arcs this time around although the pacing for much of the action does betray some of this. While the series is still well written and peppered in with some great jokes, the pacing feels absolutely breathless. There’s no time to digest what’s happening as action set pieces pave way for tense discussions before the cycle repeats itself. It’s also somewhat disappointing to see Steve used solely as comedy relief but that’s more of a personal gripe than a fault of the show.

This ultimately makes Wizards an enthralling and engrossing watch but also one that could have benefited, as mentioned earlier, by another 5 or 6 episodes to flesh out the characters. It would have been nice to see a bit more backstory for Arthur and Morgana, the Arcane Order and also some of the other characters that make an appearance too.

Special mention does need to go toward the animation though. The use of colour is exquisite and the detail within all the back-drops really helps each scene pop. There’s a long draw distance too and it helps that the character animations are really well rendered. This ultimately feeds into the voice acting, which boasts some big celebrities joining the fray this year. That’s to say nothing of the epic soundtrack either which perfectly captures the mood and tone of this epic final chapter.

The Tales Of Arcadia trilogy comes to a close with a fantastical, fast-paced thrill ride that rounds everything out nicely. With an open ending teasing that upcoming movie next year, this certainly isn’t the last we’ll see of our characters. In relation to the Tales Of Arcadia saga however, Wizards bows things out in a suitably magical way making for an enthralling and highly enjoyable watch.


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  • 8/10
    Verdict - 8/10
8/10

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